Millionaire Spaceflier Planning Mission To Mars In 2018

Oliver VanDervoort

Dennis Tito is the millionaire spaceflier who has already paid his way onto the International Space Station. Now the wealthy investor is planning a trip to Mars.

Tito is planning a privately-financed 501-day mission to Mars, but there are still quite a few details left out of the plan so far. Among those missing plans are whether or not Tito is going to be on the trip or merely backing an unmanned mission.

NBC News says that Tito is planning a press conference early next week where he and his group will divulge at least some of these details.

Tito recently formed an organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation. This new non-profit organization issued a press release on Tuesday night announcing a news conference on February 27th.

The foundation said that the mission to Mars will begin in January of 2018 and has been dubbed the "Mission for America." The renowned millionaire spaceflier's organization stated that the purpose of this particular mission was to:

"Generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation."

Websites that could be attributed to the organization's name have been purchased and registered, but it was done so anonymously.

Rumors have persisted that this trip would include human passengers, but the press release does not detail any sort of information about a crew.

The press event will be attended by Dennis Tito as well as Taber McCallum and Jane Poynter, who worked in the Biosphere 2 life-containment experiment.

Former NASA flight surgeon Jonathan Clark is scheduled to speak as well.

Will the millionaire spaceflier announce he's headed out on another mission?